At the recent Virtuoso Forum conference in California the attendees were all motivated and gained a refreshed enthusiasm for our industry. Unfortunately not every member of the public thinks we are as professional as we do. So how can you impress your clients with your level of professionalism?
1) Know your product. Whether you’ve been in the business two months or 20 years, there’s always something to learn (I honestly think I learn every day). Webinars, trade and consumer websites and magazines, your own clients and your colleagues can all teach you something. Don’t be shy about saying, “Sorry, I don’t know, but I’ll look into it and get back to you.”
2) Always have business cards with you – even when you are running errands or are on vacation. You never know what prospective client you may run into!
3) Determine your clients’ needs (a handy interview sheet will be invaluable for this). Like buying a home, this can be almost as much about what they don’t like as much as what they do like. It’s likely best to introduce the often-sensitive topic of budget once you’ve had a good chat about their vacation needs.
4) Let people know where you are. Update your voicemail and your e-mail response to let people know if you are away and who to contact if the call is urgent. Set expectation levels as to when clients may expect a call back from you, e.g. after office hours: “Thank you for you call. Our office is now closed until 9 a.m. tomorrow. Please leave a message and I will be pleased to get back to you by (for example) noon tomorrow.”
5) Thank your clients for the business, every time.
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